15 for 15

Cruz Man...this week, you are one quarter of the way through your SECOND YEAR OF LIFE!  And it seems, the more you grow, the busier you get.  You keep our lives in constant motion and there is never a dull moment around our house.  You are looking and acting like a toddler more every day, and your cuteness and charm are the perfect match for your otherwise curious and ungraceful demeanor.  You are all boy in every way, shape, and form, evidenced in the way you knock down a tower of blocks before they even stand tall, shove fistful by fistful of food in your mouth, or tear through my tupperware cupboard!  Needless to say, we're having fun, learning to let go, and laughing a whole lot at the little things you do.  

So, just like last month, here are 15 of your top milestones and memory-makers from your 15th month of life.  

1.  You continue to learn so many new things - it seems you absorb everything.  Grandma Kelly says you're a thinker...you watch what these crazy adults do and you can almost see the wheels turning in your head trying to figure it all out.  This month, you recognize the words mouth, nose, and head, and respond by touching each, however, you will only acknowledge your head when we ask if you have a headache.  It goes something like this...

Us:  'Cruz, does your head hurt?'

You: smile big and throw your hands to your head, including during meal times when your hands are full of bananas, mac 'n cheese, or whatever else we are trying to get you to eat.
2.  In addition to knowing a few of your very important body parts, you are also adding to your vocabulary all the time.  You are still a pro at 'Hi,'  and can request 'more,' and 'juice.'  My favorite is when you ask for 'more,' and just to make sure I got it, add in your adorable sign language motion of tapping your index finger to your palm.  The other day, you said 'Grandma' when Grandma asked, and always say your favorite phrase, 'ducka, ducka, ducka,' when Papa Curt asks for it (although we have no idea what it means).  You know how to make an 'oink' sound for a pig, and whine for 'mama, mama, mama' when you want to be picked up.  You jabber all the time and we're convinced you know exactly what you're saying.

3.  While your go-to words are 'hi,' 'more,' and 'this?', one of your more recent favorites is 'uh-oh.'  You know this one very well, and we hear it often throughout the day, especially when you 'accidentally' drop your sippy on the floor during dinner, knock a tower of blocks over, or pull your mitten off and drop it in the parking lot on the way to Wal-Mart.  While very adorable, your little 'uh-oh' chirp sounds pretty insincere ;)

4.  Of all the toys you received for Christmas, I'd have to say your favorites are your music toys.  You LOVE music, whether it's dancing in your crib to your new Raffi CD, playing alongside Elmo in Elmo's Rock Band (aka, coolest toy ever), or making your own music with your new drum set.  Your dad and I are impressed with the rhythm you have for this age (especially when considering your genetics).  I love that you enjoy music, and I hope I always remember the dance parties the three of us have at night in your room.

Fist pumps for Elmo...

5.  Everything is fascinating to you, marked by your 'ohhhhhhh' sound effect.  Unlike your 'uh-oh,' your 'ohhhhh' is full of sincerity and interest.  You love new experiences and are very impressed with all the cool things we have to show you. 

In addition to your 'ohhhhh' sound effect, you have also learned to give an 'mmmmm' sound when you're eating something delicious.  This is especially clear when we cave and give you something you shouldn't have, like a mini kit-kat or an almond bark pretzel.  You have quite the sweet tooth, I think.
6.  While you do love playing with your toys, you would much rather 'play' with the many adult toys in our house.  Rest assured, if you had to be home alone one of these days, you would know how to play music from our alarm clock, find your folder of 'work' from my iPad, and even brew your own cup of coffee from the Keurig.  You also know how to lift the toilet seat up and grab that Kleenex that didn't get flushed, grab that empty McDonald's cup from the trash can that 'accidentally' got thrown away, and throw my bottle of conditioner threw Jade's cat door to the bottom of the stairs where I guess you think it belongs.  You're very 'helpful,' especially around the 20 minutes or so before we sit down to eat dinner!

7.  As of this morning, you have now graduated to Size 5 diapers, and are quickly growing out of your 12-18 month clothes.
8.  You're finally showing an independent interest in your books.  I love when I find you in your room amidst a pile of books, turning pages and making them come to life with your sound effects and impressions.  You like to be read to, but insist on turning the pages yourself.  

9.  You're also showing a liking to your blankies.  Lately, I call you Linus because you're often dragging one behind you.  A blanket in your hands signifies sleepy time, and flips the switch into cuddle mode, aka, the best time ever.  
10.  Christmas Break, you decided you no longer wished to take naps in your crib here at home.  This was frustrating to me, as your nap time was a guaranteed hour or so of time to throw in that load of laundry, unpack the dishwasher, or take a shower.  After battling this with you for a week or so, I decided to forget the crib and try the living room floor.  The first day- hour and a half; next day- two hours.  Turns out, you prefer a blanket bed on the floor for your afternoon naps.  As long as you still prefer that crib of yours at night, I can tiptoe around you during the day!

11.  You figured out how to say your name and recognize yourself in pictures.  Yes, your name sounds a little like 'juice,' and a little like, 'Bruce,' but we know what you're saying :)
12.  The other day, Mom and I spent an hour or so at the mall.  I was at Von Maur buying some makeup and you were in your stroller in front of me.  As I was paying, I noticed a few girls giggle as they walked by your stroller.  I looked down and was shocked to see you had done a Houdini and slid ever so seamlessly out of your stroller!  You arched your back, kicked your feet, and slid right out the front!  Before I knew it, you were halfway down the aisle, giggling with a package of Spanx in your hands!  The minute you noticed the big mechanical cars in the middle of the mall, you took off as fast as your legs could go!  

13.  Last week, you got your first shiner.  You fell while playing at daycare and caught the floor with your left eye.  It wasn't too bad, but enough to make you look like a little Balboa Baby for awhile! 
14.  Much to your mom and dad's frustration, you are turning into quite the picky eater.  Before, we had a few go-to foods, however now, even those are hit or miss.  The other night, we went to Longhorn Steakhouse for dinner.  We got you a $5 kids meal of mac 'n cheese and french fries, two go-to foods.  I think by the time we left, there were three less fries on your plate and two of them were on the floor!  Fruit, ham, oatmeal, and dairy products are your only consistents.  Hopefully someday you'll eat our yummy suppers.

15.  You are lover, a cuddler, a destructor, and a charmer.  You are always happy, always sweet, and always, always messy.  We love you, Cruz, and are so very proud of you.